With the number of COVID-19 cases almost touching the 2,000-mark in India, the Centre is now planning to prioritise hospitalisation for those who require it the most, and send patients with minor symptoms to home quarantine.
As reported by the Indian Express, the government is planning to implement this to reduce the exposure of healthcare workers to the virus.
“Patients with mild symptoms like low-grade fever /cough /sore throat without shortness of breath may not require hospitalisation unless there is a concern for rapid deterioration,” the report said, quoting guidelines by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on clinical management of COVID-19.
Who needs intensive care?
As per reports, the new model will ensure that the patients with mild symptoms are monitored over phone during the 14-day home quarantine period. COVID-19 patients are categorised into four depending on the severity of the infection:
- Patients who need to be kept in isolation to stop the spread of the infection
- Patients who need oxygen supply and high-dependency unit care
- Patients who need Intensive Care Unit (ICU) care and constant monitoring
- Patients who need to be kept on ventilators
Approximately, 80-85 per cent of COVID-19 patients have mild symptoms and require only symptomatic relief. These patients will be hospitalised only if their condition worsens, the Indian Express report said.
The hospitalisation is based on the patient’s respiratory rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation level, age, cardio-vascular risk including hypertension, chronic lung/liver/kidney disease, diabetes and other immune-compromised conditions.
A patient will be admitted to the ICU if his mental status starts worsening, and if he is experiencing multi-organ dysfunction syndrome.
So far in India, around 1.26 lakh isolation beds are reserved for COVID-19 patients out of which 17,631 beds are in Central government institutions and 1.09 lakh have been set up in state-run institutions. Indian Railways too has converted coached into quarantine beds.
(With inputs from agencies)